Down the Procurement Pub with Future Purchasing, Advent Calendars and Of Monsters & Men

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We had an excellent Real World Procurement session with BravoSolution this week, looking at Proving Your Procurement Value. This was the last of this year’s live sessions and it was a record attendance at Smith and Wollenskys restaurant off the Strand. If you missed the session, you can catch up on the webinar version next week on Wednesday – we do it twice to appeal to different time zones, at 10am and 4pm UK time. You can sign up here, free of charge of course. The picture shows Guy Allen, who presents the series with me, and Sarah Clarke, Marketing Supremo at Bravo. Guy and Sarah initially came up with the idea of these sessions over five years ago, but this week was the end of an era, as Sarah and her partner are leaving the UK shortly to start a new adventure in Singapore. We will miss her!

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Calling all public sector readers – a reminder that we will be eternally in your debt if you could take 10 minutes to complete our survey on collaboration in the public sector. We are carrying out this piece of research as part of our Public Spend Forum work – see here for more detail. Procurement collaboration is a growing factor in the sector, and it is important for all of us as taxpayers and users of government services that it works as well as possible. Many thanks in advance and you can access the survey here.

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Philip Ideson from the Art of Procurement put us onto this idea from Chris Cliffe – why don’t we treat the “advent calendar concept” as the basis for making a real effort during December to talk to suppliers? You know, actually exchange words and ideas with them (a revolutionary concept, I know) each day during advent. Choose some obvious ones, your top suppliers, but also some less obvious; perhaps those you haven’t worked with for some time? It’s a good idea and you can read more about it here.

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We featured the Future Purchasing Category Management survey a couple of months back in terms of asking readers to complete it; the results are now coming through, and the first publication is a short four-page “highlights” document. Titled, “Collaborating for Category Management Success - Bridging the Performance and Value Gap”, it contains some powerful findings and we will look at those in more detail next week. But if you want to be ahead of the pack, you can get hold of it now (free on registration) from the Future Purchasing website here.
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We’ve started putting together our list of the best albums of the year. We normally run this right up to Xmas but readers have complained that doesn’t give them a chance to buy our recommendations as presents for their loved ones! So this year we are going to publish our long-list next weekend (December 10th) which will contain around 50 albums we’ve enjoyed, categorised in some obscure manner no doubt.  Then we will count down our detailed top 30 in the week before Christmas. What I can say already is that we’re struggling with the coveted number one slot – four or five very different but excellent albums in the running.

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Icelandic folk-rock band Of Monsters and Men produced an excellent first album and a pretty good (but slightly disappointing) follow-up last year, but they have released one of the best tracks from that - “We Sink” - with a new video that highlights the refugee crisis. A good cause and a good song.

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